Betting Strategies in Pot Limit Omaha

written by: John

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In any kind of poker game, it is very important for players to have an understanding of strategies that can help them in any given situation they may face. In some situations, players may feel as if a bluff will be the most profitable play while other times they feel as if a check raise will be better. It all boils down to what a player feels will work best and prove to be the most profitable at the time.

Now, most players understand these strategies; or at least know of them and use them to the best of their capabilities. But a few important strategies that many players do not know of or implement into their game are specific betting strategies.

Betting strategies are typically different ways for players to try to manipulate the pot. In other words, control the pot so that more money is put into it when they are ahead and less money is put into it when they feel as if they may be behind. These types of betting strategies definitely can help in all kinds of poker games but especially in such a draw-y kind of game such as Omaha where many times pots can get out of control.

So, to provide some insight on some betting strategies that players can implement into their next Omaha poker game, we have come up with a few examples for you below.  

Betting Strategy Example

In our examples below, we are going to focus only on Pot Limit Omaha since that is the most popular and commonly played form of Omaha.

Now, before we can get into our examples it is important that you first have an understanding of how the pot limit format works. Pot limit is somewhere in between the fixed limit betting format and the no limit betting format in the sense that players have a fixed amount that their betting cannot surpass on any given turn, but that amount increases each time a player puts in a raise. So players will have to bet no less than the minimum and no more than the maximum which is the size of the pot, but this amount can change from player to player.

• For example, in a $5/$10 pot limit game the blinds will be posted as normal which creates a $15 pot. The first player to act can bet as small as $10 to as high as the size of the pot which is $15. If he decides to bet $15 then the size of the pot is now $30 and the next player to act will have to call $15 if he wishes to play in the hand but can bet up to $45 if he wants to raise. The $45 is from the $30 that was already in the pot plus the $15 he was required to call to play.

So now that we have an understanding of how pot limit betting works, lets look at an example of where you might want to control the betting to keep it small and how to go about doing it and how to control the bet to try and get more in it and how to go about doing that.

Controlling the Pot Example - Keeping the Pot Small

Since we now know the mechanics of how pot limit works, then it would make sense to say that every time there was a bet made, the next bet could only get bigger.

So for example, if the current pot was $20, it was your turn to act and it was your goal to keep the pot small, then the last thing you would want to do is add any money to it. Adding money to the pot will only allow your opponent to come over the top of you with an even larger amount of money making it more costly to continue.

So if you check and your opponent bets into you, you can then just flat call to keep the overall pot size manageable.

While this may seem really obvious it is important to keep in mind that many times you employ an opposite strategy in no limit games. This is because if you check to your opponent, they can often bet enough to completely push you out of the hand altogether. So instead of checking, you would lead out first with a small bet in hopes that your opponent will just flat call allowing you to see the turn on your own terms.

In pot limit Omaha, the pot is as big as the bet can be, so you do not have to worry about players betting too much but this is even more controllable by not adding fuel to the fire so to speak.

Controlling the Pot - Making the Pot Large

On the other hand, there may be times when you would like to make the pot as large as possible. During these times, players will want to focus on betting small enough to make his opponent think that he is weak so that his player will lead into the betting.

For example, if you had a monster hand in a $10/$20 pot limit Omaha game with $30 in the pot and decided to pot the bet, the player would more than likely just call to see the turn. This here would only net you about $90.

So instead, you lead out for the minimum of $10 in hopes your opponent will come over the top. When you bet $10 that will make the total pot $40 and if he does what you want him to and comes over the top of you for a pot sized bet, then the total will be $90 in which you can in fact re-raise him. As you can see, you already extracted $90 from your opponent and now have set yourself up to extract even more.

There are probably other ways to go about getting more money in the pot, but what is great about this is that you are making yourself look weak while at the same time building the pot so that your opponent is able to bet just a little bit more when he comes over the top. And little did he know, but this whole time he was being manipulated right along side the pot to do exactly what you wanted.

Pot Control in Pot Limit Omaha

When it comes to strategies, learning how to control the pot is just as important as learning how to check raise, float or bluff. This is because knowing how to control the pot in games such as Omaha will allow players to keep the pot as small as they like to minimize risk or make it as big as possible to ensure they get paid for their monsters. Players who can control the pot are sure to make more money than those who don't in the long run.